Kids dont read books, sez BBC

How was that for a newspaper style headline. Not so good, I know.

I just saw a disturbing report on the BBC's website. This is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14621621

Apparently, less than 50% of children (8-17) read at least one novel a month. Superficially, I suppose, this makes for a good 'shock/horror' headline in the best tradition of British media.

But when you dig down into the article, you pull out little snippets like "just under half said they enjoyed reading a lot". This sort of thing - deliberately misrepresenting statistics to bolster an otherwise 'meh' headline - really annoys me. Its up there with 'taking [insert benign medication] doubles risk of [insert horrible disease]'. No real information, just the sensationalism.

I take some comfort for this report. Half of kids still like to read. That's a good thing. Boys read more comics and girls read more books and magazines. Also not unsurprising.

The only thing that does make me raise my eyebrows is the news that ebooks come bottom of the list for 8-17 year old readers. I would have expected a bigger pickup in the tech. After all, even girls like smartphones and laptops.

So I think I'm happy to go with glass slightly less than half full on this one.

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